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China’s New Twist on Q&A App: Paying Users

It’s long been known that getting people in China to pay for information or entertainment is tough, whether it’s news, music or videos. But a new Chinese Q&A app, Fenda, has turned that belief on its head.

Fenda, which literally translates into “minute-long answer,” attracted 6 million paying users in the first 20 days after its launch on May 15, a spokesperson said. Fenda charges people for asking questions of “experts.” But it allows paying users to recoup their costs by letting others pay a tiny amount to hear the answers, which are recorded on audio files lasting 60 seconds or less. Fenda is mostly accessed through WeChat.

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Fenda has advertised itself as a place where users can “make money lying in bed.”